Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHP) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 34,240,000 shares, a growth of 7.9% from the January 15th total of 31,730,000 shares. Approximately 14.7% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,420,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 14.1 days.

In related news, VP Richard J. Simoncic sold 3,536 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.15, for a total value of $322,306.40. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 18,452 shares in the company, valued at $1,681,899.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO James Eric Bjornholt sold 1,958 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.15, for a total value of $178,471.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Microchip Technology by 51.5% in the fourth quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 2,463,704 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $257,999,000 after purchasing an additional 837,126 shares during the period. Point72 Asset Management L.P. increased its holdings in shares of Microchip Technology by 33.4% in the fourth quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 1,864,340 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $195,234,000 after purchasing an additional 466,872 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Microchip Technology by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,616,607 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $169,292,000 after purchasing an additional 31,519 shares during the period. Coho Partners Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Microchip Technology by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 1,567,245 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $164,122,000 after purchasing an additional 47,838 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Microchip Technology by 32.5% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,401,968 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $146,814,000 after purchasing an additional 343,803 shares during the period.

Several research firms recently commented on MCHP. Raymond James reiterated a “strong-buy” rating and issued a $125.00 price objective (up previously from $115.00) on shares of Microchip Technology in a research note on Wednesday, February 5th. Jefferies Financial Group upped their price objective on Microchip Technology from $104.00 to $119.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 6th. KeyCorp upped their price objective on Microchip Technology from $110.00 to $120.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 7th. ValuEngine upgraded Microchip Technology from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 4th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $140.00 price objective on shares of Microchip Technology in a research note on Wednesday, February 5th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Microchip Technology has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $117.00.

Shares of NASDAQ:MCHP traded down $1.01 during trading on Friday, hitting $109.36. 1,089,465 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,062,069. The company has a market cap of $26.20 billion, a PE ratio of 43.23, a P/E/G ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 1.47. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $106.56 and a 200 day moving average of $96.79. Microchip Technology has a 52-week low of $77.66 and a 52-week high of $112.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46, a current ratio of 0.90 and a quick ratio of 0.60.

Microchip Technology (NASDAQ:MCHP) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 4th. The semiconductor company reported $1.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.26 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. Microchip Technology had a return on equity of 23.87% and a net margin of 12.23%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.66 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts forecast that Microchip Technology will post 5.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 21st will be given a dividend of $0.367 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 20th. This represents a $1.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.34%. This is an increase from Microchip Technology’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. Microchip Technology’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.18%.

About Microchip Technology

Microchip Technology Incorporated develops, manufactures, and sells semiconductor products for various embedded control applications. The company offers general purpose and specialized 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit microcontrollers; 32-bit microprocessors; and microcontrollers for automotive networking, computing, lighting, power supplies, motor control, human machine interface, security, wired connectivity, and wireless connectivity.

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